29

You mention the pronunciation /ˈfɹæb.dʒəs/ in the comments; this is how I would pronounce it too. Phonotactics are usually explained in terms of constraints ("you can't do this"), so the short answer is that it doesn't violate any of those constraints. If we look at all the parts individually: /fɹ/ is a valid onset, as in "frog" /æb/ is ...


17

Asian languages don't "sound alike" and don't "sound different" from European languages, because languages of Asia include Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Armenian, Indian languages, and Chukchi (among others). Most people don't know what Chukchi sounds like, nor do they know about Khakas, Ket, Mongolian, Malay etc. However, actual exposure to ...


6

You are actually describing a selection of different sounds Hebrew has one such phoneme: /x~χ/ (the ~ means that both variants are found) /x/ is a voiceless velar fricative: made with the tongue held towards the soft palate close enough that air flows turbulently, but does not stop, without the vocal chords vibrating /χ/ is a voiceless uvular fricative: ...


5

Phonemes are a theoretical construct, so the answer will depend to some extent on one's theoretical preferences; note that even for PIE many scholars posit independent vowel phonemes /i u/. But basically, after PIE the analysis you describe becomes much less attractive. The grounds for the allophonic analysis in PIE are that practically all cases of vocalic ...


5

By definition yes. They're called the a-colouring and o-colouring laryngeals entirely because of the effect they had on adjacent *e. Denying phonemic status to *a/ā is not universal, but it is done by the Leiden school, who analyse every *a as *h₂e and every *ā as *eh₂. This leads to a reconstructed language with very few vowels, but there are decent reasons ...


5

As a new contributor myself, I have to post this as an answer, though it's slight enough that it should really be a comment on Draconis' excellent answer (specifically a response to TKR's comment on it). I think the spelling makes <frabjous> look a bit less English than it sounds. Draconis enumerates lots of good reasons for why it's phonotactically ...


3

How they're best analysed depends on the language In Korean, syllables are maximally CGVC where G is a glide, and either C can be tense, with the tense consonants sometimes viewed as long Meanwhile, in Arabic, syllables are maximally CVC (or CVCC in pausa, or word-finally in most vernaculars) and long consonants only occur across syllable boundaries (or in ...


3

You don't "break down" words into phonemes, you first transcribe a spoken word into a language-neutral alphabet which represents how the word is actually pronounced, and then you analyze the transcriptions according to some principles of phonemic analysis to decide what phonemes are present. The first task is extremely difficult (requires extensive ...


2

The e -> ie and o -> ue stem-changing verbs are the product of the interaction between two different factors The first is the "breaking" of the Early Western Romance low-mid vowels /ɛ/ & /ɔ/ (which developed from the Latin short mid vowels /ĕ/ & /ŏ/) to /jɛ/ & /wɛ/ in stressed syllables followed by a merger of any remaining low-...


2

If you generate a bunch of random strings like that it will not match any patterns that your friend's brains recognize and those brains are going to categorize them into the "most unknown" bucket. If your friends are English speakers then there is a good bet that bucket is "Asian". So it may not be at all that the words are similar to ...


2

There are many theories of what a "long consonant" is: here are the main theories. One is that every consonant has a "timing slot", which can be notated as C (vowels are notated as V), and a long consonant has two C's. This is the CV theory of Clements & Keyser. An alternative is that there is no difference between C and V at the ...


1

Not really, just like there's no specific terminology for classifying all languages that have a [p] or an [m] sound. Basically the occurrence of one particular phone or phoneme in a language is a rather coincidental trait that holds little predictive value for other phonetic or linguistic traits, and so there hasn't been a need to develop a specific ...


1

You cannot look at the phonology of a language and predict the phonetic realization of its low vowel. The horse is the phonetics and the cart is the phonology: you start with knowledge of how a vowel is pronounced, which determines the final phonological analysis – if the vowel is [a] then the phonology produces a front vowel, if the vowel is [ɑ] then the ...


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